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Studio B With Shepard Smith

News/Business. Shepard Smith. Shepard Smith reports on the days top news stories. New. (CC)

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Benghazi 32, Afghanistan 14, Iraq 8, David Petraeus 7, Pentagon 6, Us 6, Petraeus 5, Catherine 5, Schwab 4, Lifelock 3, Jennifer 3, The C.i.a. 3, United States 3, Bush 3, Washington 3, Libya 3, Syria 3, Mike Baker 2, Lipper 2, Feinstein 2,
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  FOX News    Studio B With Shepard Smith    News/Business. Shepard Smith. Shepard Smith  
   reports on the days top news stories. New. (CC)  

    November 9, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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it will set you back $40. thanks for watching. "studio b" with trace here for shepard smith starts right now. >>trace: the news begins anew with breaking news on "studio b" today. we are being told that c.i.a. director petraeus has resigned. a letter has now been sent from the dni on a statement on the resignation which reads and i quote, "from the letter, c.i.a. director david petraeus submitted his letter of resignation to thement. the decision to step down represents the loss of one our nation's most respected public servants from his long army career to his leadership at the helm of the c.i.a. he has redefined what it means to seven and sacrifice for one's country. since he took over as the
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director in september of last year, he and i have worked together to tackle and of the most challenging issues faced by the intelligence community in more than a decade. under his leadership the c.i.a. remained instrumental in providing our policy makers decision advantage through the best possible intelligence." now to ed henry who is just getting more information about this. tell us what you know. >>reporter: jake carney is telling reporters the president will have a statement reacting to this. the benghazi story, the terror attack is something that has put pressure on this white house and put pressure on senior intelligence officials like general petraeus. this is a complete surprise. there was note idea he would step down. the statement coming across earlier, reporters have been expressing carney on whether the president still had confidence
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in general petraeus and he said he did an excellent job as c.i.a. director and went on to say that he had no personnel announcement. it is obvious he was being careful in what he said and he knew that something was bubbling up. the statement coming from the director of the national intelligence, that confirmed that david petraeus is stepping down. he did not site a reason. it is clear that the white house secretary was being careful because this was playing out just in the last few moments. again, we are told the president will have a statement on this shortly. trace? >>trace: stand by for a second because we have been getting a lot of possible reasons. we will not go with any confirmed reason until we find this. we have former c.i.a. member of the c.i.a., mike baker. what do you make this where the c.i.a. director is stepping down, for what now we will say are "unknown" reasons.
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>>guest: you make a good point. you call to be careful about any speculation. something like this happens, and this is unusual. the position of director of central intelligence is always a fairly stable position. do you not see a lot of mid-term movement. it has always been rock solid position. someone is a pointed and they are there. we saw with director panetta and before that, director tenet was there for two administrations. this is very unusual situation. i am one of those who is expressing caution at this stage. >>trace: you look back on his career and it was distinguished to say the least talking about the c.i.a. director sworn in september of 2007, a four-star general and served 37 years in the army and he was the
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commander who oversaw the coalition of forces in iraq from 2007 to 2008. is this sudden? some will say there will be a change of guard because the president won re-election but this seems to be, and the reasons we are getting have not been confirmed, but this seems to be very sudden. >>caller: it is. there is a changing of the guard as you pointed out after the first term and those things are expected but what you don't normally get is an unexpected surprise, someone leaving the post particularly a senior position like this. general petraeus is exemplary career coming in from the military culture, an interesting situation in the agency. the c.i.a. was born out of a military culture in world war ii but moving from that it has been an interesting effort to try to
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fit a military background into the agency at the top of it. it was an interesting time and you could argue that the past year has been very difficult for general petraeus at the agency. i want to get to our reporter who was one of the first to tell us about this story. >>reporter: what we have learned was there a chain of events. i was told there was a major meeting set up at the c.i.a. for thursday and it did involve bringing some principles in from out of town and the meeting was canceled at short notice because director general petraeus had to take a meeting with the president. what will be a standard
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operating procedure here, his deputy would take that kind of meeting but i was told the issue was such it could only be taken by the c.i.a. director. i learned from intelligence officials it was on thursday that the c.i.a. director asked the president if he could submit his letter of resignation for personal reasons. i was not told anything more and, today, that letter was accepted by the president. while the request was for "personal reasons" we need to lay out a couple of things that happened in the last few weeks. i was also told this was considerable angst by a briefing given by the c.i.a. that laid out the timeline or their version of events what happened benghazi, the emergency response in benghazi. i was today, was it possible the white house did not sanction that and the white house did not approve of the timeline because it said that what happened there was not our problem but it was
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someone else's problem. the other thing we considered is there really was a disconnect between what lawmakers saw as the raw intelligence about benghazi which pointed toward a terrorist attack and the briefings they received from the c.i.a. director days of the attack. if you can stay with me health me lay that out for you, a couple of days after the attack on 9/11 i was able to confirm the f.b.i. and the national counter terrorism center were briefing to lawmakers the evidence supported that it al qaedaback or al qaeda-related event. the following day the c.i.a. director went up to capitol hill and briefed that it did seem to be a demonstration that had spun out-of-control like a flash mob and the origination was anti-islam video this disconnect upset lawmakers who felt there was other intelligence that pointed to a terrorist attack but general petraeus downplayed that in his briefing.
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i am told the attack created concern about the murder of the ambassador and the three other americans but it created great angst of the exposure and breadth of the c.i.a. operation in benghazi which largely is an operation that focused on getting the stinger missiles off the battlefield in libya and out of the hands of extremists. what we know right now is he asked to be released for personal reasons and we need to take that at face value until we know otherwise but you have to see that statement in the context of those three factors. i will read the section of the state we just had from the director of national intelligence, someone who is the nation's top intelligence official and worked with the c.i.a. hand in glove, men who have known each other for decades. the statement reads, in part,
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from clapper "i spent five decades serving our country in uniform and out and of all the exceptional men and women i have worked with over the years i can say that general petraeus stands out as one of our nation's great patriots on behalf of the entire intelligence committee i thank dave for his service, his support and his continueed friendship. i can tell if you our conversations this afternoon this was great urgency of the news that the c.i.a. director had resigned, you will had the science of sadness, this is someone who dedicateed 30 to 40 years of his life to service not only to the military but the united states intelligence. >>trace: we heard speculation he may have resigned for personal reasons and one of those reasons we were getting word of was a possibility of an extramarital affair and we now have confirmed this because a letter has been submitted by david petraeus.
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if you would stand by, i will get comments from you afterward. i will read the letter in its entirety. and i quote, "the following message was released to the c.i.a. workforce saying, yesterday afternoon, i went to the white house and asked the president to be allowed for personal reasons to resign from my position as c.i.a. director after being married for over 37 years i showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as leaders of an organization such as ours. this afternoon the president graciously accepted my resignation. as i difficult part langley i want you it know it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you the officers of our nation's silent service, a workforce that truly is exceptional in every regard, indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director and i am deeply
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grateful to you. roosevelt observed that life's greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. i will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and i will all regret the circumstances that brought the work to you to an end. thank you for your extraordinary service to our country and best wishes for continued success in endeavors that lie ahead for our country and for our agency, with admirallation and appreciation." back to you, it has been confirmed that general petraeus did have an extramarital affair, and that is why he is resigning. it is rare and a lot of things we have seen for someone to come out and get ahead of the news curve and get this thing out in the open and resign before anyone even had wind of the affair itself. accurate? >>reporter: you have to take it at face value because that is
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a statement but you have to see the resignation. if it is for personal reasons you have to see it in the context of timing coming before i argue the biggest set of briefings and hearings on benghazi that we will have on capitol hill certainly before the end of the lame duck session and, number two, this comes, really, in the midst of what would consider one of the greatest controversies of the c.i.a. in the last decade. when i have been speaking to people about benghazi and the close hearings next week they have talked about this on the scale of weapons of mass destruction with iraq it was such a significant blow to the agency pushing them out of eastern libya, so, again, he says it is for personal reasons and we accept that at face value but we have to see it in the context coming before the hearings and not clear who will take his place at the hearings. number two, in the context of the last two months, and what has been very vocal
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dissatisfaction from some lawmakers with the quality of the brief and the presentations from the c.i.a. director on benghazi. >>trace: going back if i can, i want to get back to ed henry, i want to get your take on this because catherine started this out before we got confirmation that general petraeus was, in fact, stepping down because of an extramarital affair which he has apologized for. she was talking about the white house and the c.i.a. being at loggerheads over this timeline on benghazi. now, unclear whether yep general will continue to testify at hearings neck week or if someone else will take his place. what does this say about the tension that might have been, that might have been brewing between the white house and the c.i.a.? >>reporter: no doubt, you are right, there was tension brewing. what impact it had on the resignation is unclear because as you say, general petraeus is
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maintaining this has to do with the private extramarital affair. he does not cite any sort of tension with the united states over benghazi but the bottom line a week or so ago c.i.a. officials had their briefing to lay out their timeline of how they tried to help the four americans who were killed in benghazi. they got ahead of the white house putting out any sort of a timeline and it raised some eyebrows but there was no indication that led to the resignation. with three different congressional committees having hearings on the attack, what the administration knew, what difficulty to try to save the four americans, what went wrong, and as canne said at the podium, he insists the administration will cooperate with all of the congressional investigations, and they want do make sure another benghazi does not happen. but there are certainly all kinds of unanswered questions, including the c.i.a.'s role here, so, general petraeus stepping down right now the
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timing is obviously intriguing given this all stuff that is swirling around. >>trace: that is the key phrase. the timing is intriguing. we talk about journalists and accepting things at face value and the face value is he says he is resigning because of an extramarital affair, if you want to read between or behind the lines you would go further as catherine intimated that the timing is inteething because an extramarital affair you would think this is a pretty abrupt resignation for something on that level. agreed, chris? >>chris: actually, i don't. i think that we should at this point take it exactly at face value. i don't think, i don't think i would say i had an extramarital affair as a coverup for something else. it seems that there is a real personal tragedy involving general petraeus.
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this is one of our most distinguished military men, whether there was something specific about the nature of the affair that had some national security implications or whether he simply felt it went against the code of conduct and would be an embarrassment to him, the government and the c.i.a. but people do not cover up political issues by saying they cheated on their wife. i think it is really a stretch at this point until we have hardness, to presume this has anything to do with the benghazi or libya or the president or anyone trying to force him out it sounds like a real personal tragedy involving one of the most distinguished, before he left the service to go to the c.i.a., distinguished generals in our military, the author of the surge that turned around the military situation in iraq, the author of the surge that stabilized the military situation in afghanistan. i don't think we should be presupposing anything about any other ulterior motives. i will take general petraeus at
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his word until it and proven some other way. >>trace: so will i. i didn't mean to indicate that yep general was trying to have some type of coverup, that was never my intent but just to raise the question of the timing that catherine brought up in the reporting, how the white house and the c.i.a. recently have come to points of disagreement over the timeline of the benghazi attack so we are not saying that general yep is not a man of his word he clearly has served in the army for then years and commander of the allied forces and do yeoman's work for the country. my intent was to bring up the fact this happened at this time. >>chris: to speculate this was any pressure on him or this, to put any own us on the administration or the c.i.a. is unwarranted.
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frankly, the c.i.a. timeline that came out seemed to be an effort to push back at at the critics and saying the c.i.a. was trying to respond to the situation in benghazi. i don't think that was something that in any way incriminated the administration. some thought it was the opposite, that it was helping them. the idea he will quit the career because there will be hearings on capitol hill, that doesn't make sense to me. what does it mean to the c.i.a. he has been in th little over a year, i recall in early of september of 2011. what does it mean going forward for the c.i.a. when there really are some questions about what happened in benghazi, what happens now in your estimation? contribution chris -- >>chris: the c.i.a. will go on. it is a black eye. general petraeus, he is one of
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the most respected and honored men in this country and to me it is dramatic story, the idea he felt he had to quit because of this breach of faith in his marriage. that's -- i find that a personal tragedy and i feel badly. general petraeus is someone i admired tremendously and we don't know if, in fact, the president may have resisted accepting this. i suppose, who knows where it was going to come out. you assume there must have been a leak and general petraeus knew it would be public but the c.i.a. will continue. obviously it is underfire for the response in benghazi but that is the c.i.a.'s problem not the problem of david petraeus. >>trace: and now, catherine from your reporting and your sources in between the time we last talked, are we learning anything new? is there something to be said that we should take this
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absolutely for what it is at face value, that he resigned for one reason and that is because he had an extra marital affair and that is where it ends? >>reporter: we don't have any information to suggest otherwise, but the point i was lining up with the facts we facing next week is this resignation comes on the eve of the most significant hearings director petraeus would have had on capitol hill about one of the most major attacks against americans in a foreign country that significantly impacted one of the largest c.i.a. operations overseas at this time. there is no disputing that. that is exact what happened. he has resigned on the eve of extremely important hearings. i agree with chris' point it is a great personal tragedy given
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his public service to this nation, not only in the military but, also, serving the intelligence community most recently as director of the c.i.a. but, also, for context: our reporting shows that there has been a high level of dissatisfaction on capitol hill with the briefings they received from the director if that first week after the beach gaza attack. as i mentioned earlier, in days i was able to confirm, we were able to confirm, the f.b.i. and the national counter terrorism center were telling lawmakers that the telephone intercepts they had showed this was an attack that was carried out by al qaeda or al qaeda affiliate and they did not speak about a demonstration that spun out control or did they speak about an anti-islam film. but the anti-islam film was one of the centerpieces of petraeus' briefing the friday after benghazi, a significant disconnect for lawmakers. i was told by one in the briefing, they asked the director but the people came and
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they had rpg's which is not what you see with a demonstrator and they had mortars. how easy is it to fire a mortar. i was told that the director played down the type of skill needed to fire a mortar. a mortar is a weapon where you need math calculations, distance, you needle vacation, you need to account for the weather, you need to account for the weight of the shell. you typically need to have spotters. in this case, shells were fired and they missed the annex and recalibrated based on the information from the spotters and they had direct hits. the lawmakers were distraught to say the least, the director downplayed how easy it was to use a mortar. i was told you could learn to do it in 15 minutes which they just did not subscribe to that. they felt he seemed very in lock step with this narrative about the videotape which we now know not to be the case.
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i lay out those facts, as well, in terms of these events leading up to his resignation. >>trace: stand by, we got a statement from the president of the united states reading as follows: david pet address -- petraeus has provided extraordinary service for decades one of the outstanding general officers of his generation helping our military adapt to nuchals and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in iraq and afghanistan where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end. he has continued to serve with characteristic intellectual rigor and patriotism through his lifetime of service, he has made our country safer and stronger. the president goes on to say and
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i quote, "today i accept his resignation as director of the central intelligence agency. i am completely confident that the c.i.a. will continue to thrive and carry out the essential mission and i have the utmost confidence in acting director and the men and women of the c.i.a. who work every day to keep our nation safe. going forward my thoughts and prayers are with dave and holly petraeus who have done so much to help military families through her own work. i wish them the best at this difficult time." back to the chief white house correspondent. the president issued a statement. are we learning anymore about the timeline? >>reporter: we know that it appears this was a meeting yesterday between the president and the c.i.a. director, to discussion this, that precipitated everything that happened today. but i would note there are transitions at the beginning of any second term anyway so it is possible there would be shuffled
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and speculation that undersecretary at secretary of state would leave whether the secretary of defense would leave, but all of the national security challenges this president is facing headed into the second term and now, more than ever, he needs strong intelligence of what is really happening on the ground especially in the middle east but all around the world and i suspect the last thing the white house wanted to do right now was to look for a new c.i.a. director when they have the treasury secretary talking about stepping down. the secretary of state, stepping down. et cetera. this is not what they wanted to deal with. >>trace: thank you, ed. i will re-cap for those just joining at 3:25 we learned that c.i.a. director has now
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resigned. the general has sent a letter to the white house saying he resigned because he was having an extramarital affair. that's the reason. president obama has now accepted that resignation. this happened the past 24 hours going back and forth between the central intelligence agency and the white house and david petraeus is no longer the director of the c.i.a. i bring in the anchor of special report bret baier who clearly has covered this with the specials you have had in the past two or three weeks on benghazi, going over the timeline, detail by detail. the abrupt resignation of general petraeus, your thoughts on that? >>bret: well, i got off the phone with someone who has talked with general petraeus in the past few moments. the message was a couple of points. tell the truth. it was my request. the white house did not pressure
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me to do this. this had nothing to do with benghazi. nothing at all. this was my request. this had nothing to do with i. i want to testify about benghazi. there was nothing to do with the white house pressuring me to leave this job. it did have to do with, according to sources, an extramarital affair. that is now confirmed. we are seeing the development that we have talked about the facts about benghazi and the lawmakers who were concerned about what was said on capitol hill and what was testified to by general petraeus. the context of the last few moments and what he is saying he is telling people this was his decision and the white house did not pressure him. we know how washington works.
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there are many different reasons and many different motives for things to happen. this is what is happening real time at this moment. it does happen just days before this testimony on capitol hill about the libya attack and this investigation. >>trace: we talked to chris wallace and he said take him at his word and take this exactly for what it is which i agree with because we have nothing else to interject in the conversation. our point that ed and catherine were making, in was a little bit of head butting between the c.i.a. and the white house over a timeline of the benghazi attack. bringing it up that is merited in this case. >>bret: sure, just if the timing of this entire thing the fact that it is happening today.
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this is what general petraeus is saying. i am telling the truth the it was my q the white house doesn't pressure me. we had to take him at his word. it is also important in the context of general petraeus and who this man is, he has a stellar military career serving the united states. if you look back at that career and we should in context of what he has done for the country, as he gets ready to leave his career because of an extramarital affair, and in the light of having to testify about the situation in benghazi you look back at years and years of service and what he did in iraq and afghanistan and what he has done all throughout as a general and throughout his time in the military. >>trace: clearly a great man and a great general.
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we have breaking news on "studio b" at the bottom of the hour. that man right there on left, general petraeus, has now resigned as the director for the central intelligence agency. he has now submitted a letter to rebound which reads in part, exactly this: yesterday afternoon i went to the white house and asked the president to be allowed for personal reasons to resign from my position as the director of the c.i.a. after being married for over 37 years i showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. such behavior is unacceptable both as a husband and as the leaders of an organization such as ours. this afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation and the president did, in fact, accept that resignation saying and i quote, "i accept the we resignation as director of the c.i.a. c.i.a. and i am confident the c.i.a.
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will continue to that thrive and i have the utmost confidence in the acting director and the men and women of c.i.a. who were every day to keep our nation safe." and now the chief white house correspondent is live with us on the north lawn. >>reporter: a dramatic development obviously because general petraeus came so highly regarded as being the architect of the surge in iraq back in 2007. when the president, this president, that was under president bush, when president obama needed general petraeus to go to afghanistan to take over the war there a couple of years back he went back out in the field to deal with that. again he got high marks and over a year ago, when panetta went over to the defense department to be pentagon chief we saw david petraeus come to the military, go to the c.i.a. and there were questions he could make that transition and
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largely, again, got high marks in this job. there have been questions about the c.i.a. role in the terror attack in benghazi. that is going to be investigated next week on capitol hill with three different congressional committees investigating. but general yep is saying he stepped down and it has nothing to do with benghazi but a personal extra marital affair after 37 years of marriage, a stunning development. general petraeus went to the president on thursday, yesterday, to let him know, and offered his resignation. the president has accepted that resignation. there is always transition at going of a second term and there is no doubt there will be national security changes, there is already talk, hick hinge --
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secretary of state, hillary clinton has said for months she will step down. there will be changes but the white house has been blind sided because the last thing with challenges like iran and syria the need for a strong c.i.a. director to give the president the best possible intelligence about iran's nuclear program this is the last thing they want to do is look if a new c.i.a. director. >>trace: general petraeus got the post in september of 2011 so just a little over a year he has been in this. general petraeus the head of the c.i.a. has step down because of an extra marital affair. now to jennifer griffin at the pentagon who worked for us in the middle east for years, your thoughts on the abrupt resignation of general petraeus?
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>>reporter: i was shocked. i have known general petraeus since the beginning of the surge in iraq. one of my first assignments on this beat at the pentagon was to go to iraq and he had just been assigned there in 2007. i want to tell you what i know about him as a person. he is a man of intense moral fiber. when i was sick with cancer he would write notes that would check on me as well as many other -- at time he was responsible for the war in afghanistan and i saw him at numerous wounded warrior events and he would take hours and hours with the warriors. when i came back the first interview i came back after a year off for cancer treatment, i was invited to afghanistan and i had an interview with him when he first took over in afghanistan. i have phone him for a
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long-term. if you look at his history he married the superintendent's daughter at west point. when he was a cadet at west point holily was a superintendent's daughter and he was known by friends and biographies that have been written including a recent book, a man incredibly ambitious from the moments he stepped in to west point. he is someone who always was very disciplined so this extra marital affair is so surprising to those who have known him for some time. he was always not only disciplined with his personal life and his professional life but with the media. we have covered many four-star generals and top leaders at the pentagon and in the wars but no one knew how to control his image and to project an image and rarely, i cannot think of
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any situation where he misstepped. he has the media on his side during the surge. when there were intense criticisms back here in the united states the united states should not send more troops to iraq or afghanistan. he was seen as a political threat to this white house and that is a reason i think there were many rumors the president, president obama, was happy to see him go to the c.i.a. a place he would have to be quiet and not engage the press and not be a political threat in this last campaign season. >>trace: jennifer if i can get you to weigh in on what it does to transition. you have worked with the pentagon and the central intelligence agency so you know the people in the departments. what does it mean for transitional purposes talked about, we are talking iran, benghazi, a number of issues, and we have troops in afghanistan. what are the issues now internally for the department?
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>>reporter: numerous issues. the arab spring situation in syria, iran, israel, the ending of a war in afghanistan, you have 68,000 troops still in harm's way in afghanistan, relations with nuclear pakistan, there are so many issues right now but general petraeus is one of many and as we all know in this business we are all replace able. in terms of him as the head of the c.i.a. there are plenty of capable people who can step in to that position. you have right new at the white house john brennan served at highest level at c.i.a. and he is the chief counterterrorism advisor to the president. i would not be surprised to see his name put forward. and acting director is very capable. while this is shocking because
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we have known general petraeus and david petraeus as a man of great leadership ability and moral fiber, that is the shock, but dealing with the world issues the c.i.a. will go on and i don't think it will necessarily disrupt the way the administration deals with the other issues. >>trace: i was struck by something jennifer said, bret, because it was in secret that general petraeus and the white house had disagreements before he went to the c.i.a. and when he went to the c.i.a. this was a feeling the white house was happy he was at the c.i.a. talk about that relationship and further news you could have of the resignation. >>bret: jennifer was eloquent about the thought that general petraeus has a respect not only in the military but throughout washington as someone who is
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honest. someone whose word is solid. a couple people say what he says, it was his request, the white house didn't pressure him and it has nothing to do with benghazi, you can take that to the bank. he says it was an extramarital affair. now, as far as the pressure at the beginning between general petraeus and the white house, yes, was there political back and north? did the white house want to take him off the board as a possible vice presidential pick? sure, there was probably some political calculation because high was attractive, someone who people looked up to as a possible political future, someone who had a plan in iraq,
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someone who both president bush and others looked to for afghanistan and who president obama turned to. so when he went to the c.i.a. a lot of people looked at the future leadership. it is a shock to a lot of people in washington. the fact it comes before the testimony is a timing thing and since we have talked i have talked to a number people who are convinced the reason this has happened is, in fact, the reason that general petraeus said it happened and nothing more. >>trace: we have for reason to doubt that. bret was talking about the hearings that are said to be held and they are the most significant hearings to date concerning what happened in benghazi when we lost four americans in the attack on the consulate. ed, is there a protocol you know of that general petraeus would still testify at the hearings? or is this something we may sigh
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someone else take his place? >>reporter: cow have both. i have seen precedent coughing capitol -- covering capitol hill, i remember donald rumsfeld testifying about various situations involving the war in iraq or afghanistan after he stepped down as defense secretary. whether a week from now they want to do that, that is something the congressional committees have to work out. there is certainly precedent for former officials coming in and testifying, testifying and now that general petraeus in longer has the pressure of the job, he could be able to speak more freely about exactly what went down in benghazi. to underscore what bret is saying about general petraeus' service i remember covering president obama remainly in the administration and there was a crisis because the general was overseeing the war in afghanistan, a critical point, one of many critical points in that war that still is ongoing right now and the general abruptly stepped down and president obama had to turn to
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general petraeus, someone that the president has not always gotten along with personally. they have butted heads but he turned to general petraeus and said i need to you go back out on the battlefield and he did that, he put the differences aside. the president asked him to be c.i.a. director he did the same. despite their differences we should underscore the president and the c.i.a. director have worked together in service of the country putting aside their personal differences. >>trace: and it is important to underscore because he was, in fact, a great general by all account for 40-plus years. if you are just joining us on "studio b" there is breaking news, the director of the central intelligence agency, david petraeus, has resigned and he says he resigned because of an extramarital affair. we are getting reaction from the white house, from the pentagon, and from the industrial
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for a superior clean. oral-b power brushes. go to oralb.com for the latest offers. >>trace: breaking news on "studio b," the director of the central intelligence agency, general petraeus, has now resigned. he says he resigned because of an extramarital affair sending his resignation letter to the white house saying the behavior is unacceptable as a husband and the leaders of an organization such as ours. this afternoon the president graciously accepted my resolutioningmation and the president did do just that in his own letter, saying that he has accepted his resignation and now a statement great the chairman of homeland security, peter king saying he is one of america's most outstanding and distinguished military leaders and a true american patriot. as a member of the house
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permanent select committee on intelligence i had the privilege of working with general petraeus in his capacity as c.i.a. director. i hold general petraeus in the highest regard, regret his resignation and wish him and his family the very best. we keep hearing the slogan and i will bring in a former member of the c.i.a., we hear that general petraeus was set to testify at the hearings on benghazi and as we identified them, the most significant hearings on benghazi since the attack itself and, mike, is there a chance that general petraeus would still testify if your understanding of the protocol of the c.i.a.? >>caller: they have every right to request his presence there. whether he is still in that position or not. i don't think -- it is interesting and i am sure some will see reasons behind the timing but frankly, you take a
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man his established character and reputation and you take what he is admitting to and you can understand the gut wrenching decision he had to go through. we have seen other leaders more senior to him who is done same and decided not to take this course. you cannot be in the c.i.a. and hide a secret like that. it puts you in an ekstromly vulnerable position and he is leading the men and women of the c.i.a. so anyone who has been in that organization perfectly understands that what he is explaining as a reason for his stepping down as painful as it is exactly the reason. he is doing the right thing and again the timing, okay, it is coincidence am but frankly if i was the c.i.a. director i would love to be on the hill testifying, all those people we pulled out of the consulate, they were now hostages or
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killed, the situation wasn't worse because of c.i.a. actions on the ground that night. >>trace: and back to what you were talking about, why in your understanding or your sense would it make general petraeus more vulnerable to keep this secret? if this was happening you would assume it did not jut happen last week or two weeks ago and he has at mitted to -- admitted to this affair. why is he more vulnerable? what do you noon by that? >>guest: well, i have no idea, it would be pure speculation to talk about the nature of the affair, but i am talking about if you are in a leadership position, your obligation is to display at all times, exemplary behavior let alone the moral issues related to the marriage, you are leading an industry and sending people out into the field taking on tremendous
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responsibility and in your position as an agency officer if you are out there working against sources or trying to recruit sources or working against hostile services the last thing you want is to have something in your background that can be used as leverage against you. more importantly he is leading that organization and you cannot lead the organization and have something like that going on. it must have been gut wrenching for him. he made the right decision. >>trace: former c.i.a. covert operations officer, mike baker. we have a statement by senator feinstein the chair of the senate intelligence committee saying "i very much regret this resignation, it is it is an enormous loss if our country.
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call or go online now. [♪...] >>trace: breaking news on "studio b," and that man right there, general petraeus, director of the c.i.a. agency has resigned citing an extramarital affair and the president has accepted the resignation. we have a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under president bush, the first president bush, and a senior fellow at the heritage foundation and a former c.i.a. operations officer. you have been listening to a lot of the program. your thoughts on the resignation? >>guest: it obviously a
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personal tragedy for him but the issue in my view is righting the shift and moving it in the right direction. the c.i.a. is very important to the national security of this country if you look around the world whether you are talking about terrorism, we have troops in afghanistan, iran's nuclear program, the rise of china, there are so many national security challenges we have out there, syria, it is really important they find the next leader of this organization and continue the important work they are doing without interruption. >>trace: give us your understanding about the transition and how quickly this takes place. >>guest: he has a director, deputy director and executive director. people that can step in, in the short-term, but we don't want it to get in the way of the work of the agency.
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he need as director of the intelligence agency. >>trace: and that man right there could be the next choice for director of the c.i.a. and that has not yet been confirmed. peter, thank you sir. coming up on "studio b" much more ahead on the resignation of general petraeus. senator feinstein in her letter saying she wished the president had not accepted the resignation but understands and accepts the decision. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day.
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